Multiple Colts players still dealing with injuries

Sep 15, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts defensive end Arthur Jones (97) is carted off the field during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 15, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts defensive end Arthur Jones (97) is carted off the field during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indianapolis Colts made it through OTAs and Minicamp without any catastrophic injuries, but a few players might not be ready to go before training starts in late July.

The Colts are a team that seems to live on the knife’s edge with injuries. For years the Colts have been at the bottom of the league in games lost to injury. 2015 was an exception on the surface, as they ranked 17th in adjusted games lost per Football Outsiders, but they also were without their superstar quarterback for nine games last season.

While the team looks remarkably healthy heading into a break before camp, there are still a number of potential starters that are recovering either from offseason surgery or injuries suffered last season.

  • Defensive end Henry Anderson is still recovering from his ACL injury, but likely won’t be ready to go for camp. It has been hinted that Anderson might not even be ready for Week 1 this season.
  • Defensive tackle Art Jones, whose rarely been on the field for the Colts, is hopeful to be ready to go by training camp following an ankle injury last preseason. Colts fans likely won’t hold their breath, and there’s a chance Jones is cut if he’s not healthy and playing well in camp (especially with the amount of talent along the line).
  • Wide receiver Donte Moncrief is expected back by camp following toe surgery to correct an issue that plagued him all last season. If that injury hampered him last season it was hard to tell and him at 100 percent (and with Luck all year), Moncrief will be looking at a monster third year.
  • Cornerback D’Joun Smith, who missed most of his rookie year with a knee injury, suffered a setback this spring in his rehab and is a question mark heading forward.
  • Guard Hugh Thornton, who has the inside tract for the starting right guard position, is dealing with a mystery injury that kept him out of OTAs and minicamp. He’s been injured far too often and patience could be wearing thin with him.

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The news that we’ve gotten on all of these players is somewhat encouraging, or at least has a positive spin placed on it. Anderson not being ready to play by the start of the season is troubling as he was developing into a great player before the ACL injury. Getting Jones back would merely be icing on the cake that is a very deep, talented defensive line.

Thornton is going to have some stiff competition at camp this year for his starting spot, and it would not be surprising at all to see him ousted before the season starts (not unlike Khaled Holmes). Smith’s impact remains questionable. He wouldn’t start, even if healthy, and struggled through camp and the preseason last year. That said, the depth at CB is awfully thin.

The Colts have taken steps to change up their training and coaching staffs this offseason. There appears to be a new focus on injury prevention workouts, which includes improving flexibility and functional movement. There hasn’t been much light shed on what the Colts have done towards injury prevention in the past, but whatever it was it clearly didn’t make an impact.

Tight end Dwayne Allen, who ended up on IR in three of his four seasons, is doing yoga and Pilates in an effort to remain healthy and on the field. From an interview with Mike Wells at ESPN:

"“Want to keep up the flexibility,” Allen said. “Doing some work, whether it’s yoga, Pilates, all things tied to flexibility. Making sure I continue to go through football drills and stay in football shape from a muscle-memory standpoint … You can’t run or overprepare for injuries. It’s going to happen. It’s part of the game. You do small things that you hope are preventative measures.”"

Words that every pro athlete can live by. For someone like Allen it becomes especially important to do everything in his power to stay healthy given that he just signed a hefty new contract. Increasing flexibility through yoga can help lessen stress on ligaments and increase the amount of strain before a tear occurs. Pilates works with functional movement and helps not only with body control but also to take the pressure off singular muscle groups and allow your body to essentially work as one group.

Hopefully, Allen isn’t alone in his injury prevention oriented workouts.

The Colts 2016 season doesn’t necessarily hinge on the health of the team (except for Luck), but a different approach towards injuries could make a significant impact. At the very least, we know that the extra work certainly won’t hurt any thing.